Onyx plans to begin shipping two new E Ink devices in March. The new 10.3 inch Onyx Boox Note Pro and 7.8 inch Onyx Boox Nova Pro both have 1872 x 1440 pixel E Ink displays and support for finger or pen input — you fan flip pages or navigate menus with your fingers, or write or draw with a pressure-sensitive pen.
That’s why I’m calling these “devices” rather than eReaders. They’re more like a cross between a tablet and an eReader.
The new models also now have front lights with adjustable color temperature. You can use a set of sliders to decide how warm or cool you want the light to be, which could come in handy for folks that prefer to reduce blue light when reading at night.
Onyx hasn’t announced pricing details for the new models yet.
Both systems are running an operating system based on Android 6.0, allowing you to sideload APK files (I’m told even the Amazon Kindle or Kobo eReader apps should work). Of course, some apps will work better on an E Ink display than others — you probably don’t want to play racing or fighting games that require quick reflexes on a device with a low screen refresh rate.
The Wacom pen that comes with the new Boox devices supports 4096 levels of pressure sensitivity, and palm rejection seemed to work just fine. I placed my hand on the tablet while writing and doodling pictures and didn’t encounter any problems. There is some slight lag, but it wasn’t enough to bother me. Your results/preferences may vary.
Since both models have the same display resolution, you actually get a sharped screen if you opt for the smaller model. But you also get a smaller battery, less memory, and less storage.
The Onyx Boox Note Pro has 4GB of RAM, 64GB of storage, a 4,100 mAh battery, and an E Ink Mobius Carta display. It measures 9.8″ x 7.0″ x 0.27″ and weighs about 13 ounces.
Meanwhile the Onyx Boox Nova Pro has an E Ink Carta display, 2GB of RAM, 32GBof storage, a 2,800 mAh battery, and it measures 7.7″ x 5.4″ x 0.3″ and weighs about 8.5 ounces.
Both versions feature USB Type-C ports for charging and data transfer, and both support WiFi, Bluetooth 4.1, and both feature 1.6 GHz quad-core processors. Neither has an SD card slot, but with several times more storage than you typically find in an eReader, that will probably only be a problem if you plan to store an awful lot of large PDFs (or apps) on the device.
Oh, and speaking of apps, Onyx has added an app store to its Boox products. I didn’t get a chance to see how it works, since the devices the company is showing at CES weren’t able to connect to the internet. But it’s a sign the company is trying to expand its business model.
Both the Onyx Boox Note Pro and Nova Pro should be available in the Onyx Boox Amazon store sometime in the next few months.
Onyx also sells its eReaders in Canada, the UK, Australia, Japan, the United Arab Emirates, and Europe.